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Bumper Hitch


Bob Giles
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Looks a lot like the tow apparatus used to deliver a new car to a customer, towing a motorcycle.  The dealer employee could then ride motorcycle back to dealership.  Very common in the day, 20s and 30s….

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This "tow-bar" was a very common piece of equipment. I recall renting one for just a few dollars a day from a local trailer rental outfit. Many, many non-running cars found their way to my parent's driveway in the '60's. I recall pulling them from all over central California without mishap. Unfortunately this was not the case with the famous "ROD & CUSTOM Dream Truck" when the towing vehicle blew a tire at highway speed and both trucks flipped and rolled.

You can see the tow bar still attached in the second picture.

Probably not the safest way to move a vehicle.

 

400px-Rod-custom-dream-truck-fourth-version.jpgSpencer-murray-1950-chevrolet.jpg

 

https://kustomrama.com/wiki/Rod_%26_Custom_Magazine's_Dream_Truck

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by f.f.jones (see edit history)
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These were common up into the 1950's. Your missing the steel clips/clamps that are used at each clamp. There about 3+ inches wide, 3-4 long and about a 1/4 inch thick and in the shape of an S with a slot that the chain goes in and the the bolt tightens up the unit on the bumper. They worked very good. Oh and the chain in the middle of the a frame unit is attached to a lever to hook to the pulled cars brakes.

Edited by hook
left out (see edit history)
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36 minutes ago, Bob Giles said:

The lever and chain in the middle was a mystery.

Looks like maybe a spring to keep the safety chain to the bumper hitch taught. Also in the mix is the sliding bracket to adjust to nearly any bumper on the car being towed.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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In the md 60's we lived in the country and family members that lived in the city would give us old cars that usually did not run, my dad and I would rent the same looking tow bar, and we both would bring the car home, the first time we tied the steering wheel down and turning a corner the front end of the car was jumping and skipping across the pavement until we untied  the steering wheel. Several occasions after I repaired the car they would buy the car back.

 

Bob

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U Haul had a one way rental. Two of us towed a 1936 Studebaker coupe from California to Ohio with a 1953 Olds 

98 coupe. Lots and lots of stories go with that adventure. 1963

We turned it in at a u haul dealer and got our deposit back in Ohio.

No problems with tow bar and hitch , but multiple tire problems.

Lucky to survive.

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The chain and lever on the A frame that was used to apply the brakes on the towed vehicle was designed for most cars mechanical brakes that had a cross shaft in the frame that a chain or cable could hook to. It was a little more complicated hooking it up the the brake peddle linkage of hydraulic brakes. I never used it since all my tows were short and relatively slow.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/6/2022 at 4:35 PM, Bob Giles said:

The lever and chain in the middle was a mystery.

 

I would guess that the two levers in the center were used to lock in the tow bars at the set angle so they would not change the distance between the ends on the car being towed.  At least that is what the were for on a tow bar that I owned in the 70's. 

 

The chain would be the "safety chain" connected to the tow car for safety. 

 

At least that is my story and I currently sticking to it.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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On 6/6/2022 at 5:54 PM, keiser31 said:

This was a wild trip towing my '31 Dodge from Detroit to San Diego via the upper peninsula of Michigan with a U-Haul hitch.

1467489_10201964512253365_1450239591_n.jpg

post-37352-143138334008.jpg

 

Interesting to think what the cost for that same trip had it been done today.

At 2342 miles (San Diego to Detroit scenario) fuel alone would be around $12k.

My guess is at the time it would have been closer to $1000-$1500.

I bet you'd still do it all over again though. ;) 

 

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4 hours ago, 30DodgePanel said:

 

Interesting to think what the cost for that same trip had it been done today.

At 2342 miles (San Diego to Detroit scenario) fuel alone would be around $12k.

My guess is at the time it would have been closer to $1000-$1500.

I bet you'd still do it all over again though. ;) 

 

 

 Obviously we learned math in different schools!😉.  My calculator shows the following.   2342 miles divided by 12 mpg, est, equals 195 gal @ $6.00 per gal equals $1170.00.

  Unless I have made a mistake.  Which I have been known to do.

 

  Ben

Edited by Ben Bruce aka First Born (see edit history)
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